The climate-resilient project in Zambia, supported by the African Development Bank and Climate Investment Funds, has won the Water ChangeMaker People’s Choice Award – Africa.
In a statement on Thursday, Olufemi Terry of AfDB’s Communication and External Relations Department, disclosed that the strengthening climate resilience in the League, a sub-basin pilot programme for climate resilience, beat other two finalists to win the first prize with about 7,000 votes, as announced at the Climate Adaption Summit on Monday.
Launched in 2014 the project aims to strengthen rural communities’ capacity to withstand climate variability and the long-term consequences of climate change.
The Climate Adaptation Summit Water ChangeMaker award, organised by government of The Netherlands and Global Water Partnership, celebrates and promotes teams and organisations in Africa shaping water decisions that build climate resilience, in recognition of the continent being on the frontline of climate change.
The other two finalists were Zutari Water Resources Group in South Africa and Shire River Basin Management Programme in Malawi.
Terry also said that by the end of 2020, about 1,200 micro projects had been rolled out under SCRiKA to advance hard and soft adaptations, helping 800,000 Zambian farmers develop greater resilience to flooding and droughts. One element is the construction and rehabilitation of climate-resilient roads.
SCRIKA’s Project Manager and an official in Zambia’s Ministry of Town Planning and Development, Indie Dinala, said they were grateful to AfDB and CIF for such opportunity.
“We could not have done this alone, we thank the AfDB and CIF for enabling us build the resilience of rural farmers to cope with climate change in Zambia,” she said.
Dinala, however, expressed readiness to work with other actors in the climate adaptation space.
“We look forward to more partnerships with CIF, Multi-national Development Banks and actors in the climate adaptation space as we scale up to other regions, because the need is vast and urgent,” she added.
The Acting Director of Water Development and Sanitation Department of the AfDB, who also serves as the Acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development at the bank, Wambui Gichuri, said, “Adaptation initiatives such as SCRiKA are required to cope with climate change-induced impact on water resources in Africa.
“To know that thousands of farmers now have access to solar-powered boreholes and other innovations to irrigate crops and increase incomes shows how bank interventions can improve quality of life, particularly in rural areas. Water security is also key to energy security, food and nutritional security, and industrial development.”
AfDB’s Director of Climate Change and Green Growth, Anthony Nyong, said, “The SCRiKA project demonstrates the power of partnerships and having communities in the driving seat of adaptation action! We are very excited about this award and AfDB will continue to mobilise resources to deliver more of such innovative projects at scale and transforming Africa’s adaptation landscape.”